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Immigration

Ted Cruz Slams Trump’s ‘Road to Citizenship’ Claim for Pending DACA Executive Order: ‘HUGE Mistake’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) asks a question during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled “Police Use of Force and Community Relations” in Washington, D.C., June 16, 2020. (Tom Williams/Pool via Reuters)

Senator Ted Cruz warned the Trump administration not to include a “road to citizenship” for DACA recipients, after Trump implied one was coming in a new executive order on immigration he plans to sign “over the next few weeks.”

“There is ZERO constitutional authority for a President to create a ‘road to citizenship’ by executive fiat,” Cruz tweeted. “It was unconstitutional when Obama issued executive amnesty, and it would be a HUGE mistake if Trump tries to illegally expand amnesty.”

Cruz’s reaction came after Trump revealed in an interview with Telemundo that he would give DACA recipients “a road to citizenship” through an executive order.

“We’re working out the legal complexities right now, but I’m going to be signing a major immigration bill as an executive order, which . . . because of the DACA decision, has given me the power to do that,” Trump said. He then seemed to contradict himself, saying that “we put it in, and we’re probably going to then be taking it out,” in an apparent reference to DACA.

But when pressed by Jose Diaz-Balart on the order, Trump appeared to double down.

“One of the aspects of the bill is going to be DACA, we are going to have a road to citizenship. If you look at the Supreme Court ruling, they gave the president tremendous powers when they said that you could take in, in this case 700,000 or so people,” Trump claimed. “So they gave powers, based on the powers that they gave, I’m going to be doing an immigration bill — one of the aspects of the bill that you’ll be very happy with, and that a lot of people will be, including me, and a lot of Republicans by the way, will be DACA. We’ll give them a road to citizenship.”

The White House later released a statement that attempted to clarify Trump’s comments, saying that Trump “has long said he is willing to work with Congress on a negotiated legislative solution to DACA, one that could include citizenship, along with stronger border security and permanent merit-based reforms. This does not include amnesty.”

Trump has previously said that “a deal will be made” with Democrats over the status of DACA’s participants if his administration’s attempt to end the program was successful.

Trump’s latest comments clash with reports that emerged this week claiming that the Trump administration was restarting its attempt to end President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which grants participants renewable deportation deferrals, but not a path to citizenship

The reported move came after the Supreme Court said last month in a 5-4 decision that the Trump administration’s previous attempt to end DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act’s “arbitrary and capricious” standard and could not move forward. In response, Trump said “nothing was lost or won” in the decision, adding that the court had “punted.”

Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated with an additional comment from the White House.

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